Search for missing Lake Erie plane now recovery operation

Judith QuinnJan 01, 2017

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Joel Altman says air traffic control notified the Coast Guard at 11:30pm Thursday by air traffic control that the Cessna Citation 525 disappeared shortly after takeoff from Burke Landfront Airport in downtown Cleveland.

The plane, which is kept at a hangar at the Ohio State University airfield, is registered to Maverick Air and operated by Superior Beverage Group. Officials said Friday the operation was still one of search-and-rescue rather than recovery.

Capt. Michael Mullen of the U.S. Coast Guard answers questions during a news conference at Burke Lakefront Airport, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, in Cleveland.

The plane disappeared from the radar completely about two miles over Lake Erie.

It wasn't immediately clear how many people were on board, but WBNS says investigators believe the number was six. The waters in the searched area are about 50 feet deep, the Coast Guard said.

The water temperature in Lake Erie was around 35 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 degrees Celsius) at the time of the plane's disappearance, according to the National Weather Service. The Coast Guard cutter Kittiwake was also dispatched to the search area.

A plane carrying three adults and three children vanished after taking off from a small airport in Cleveland on Thursday, according to multiple reports. His wife, Suzanne, was also on board along with their two teenage sons, a neighbor and a neighbor's daughter, John W. Fleming told The Blade. We are working closely with the proper authorities conducting the investigation.

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